John McClain was on 104.5 The Zone yesterday when host George Plaster asked a very interesting question: in 10 years, who will own the Titans?
Now the long established plan has been for Bud's grandson, Kenneth Adams IV, to take over the franchise upon the sad day Mr. Adams passes on. Kenneth has been working in the front office for years getting to know the football business. McClain, who has a long-standing relationship with Bud that goes back for decades, stunned me by speculating that the family would sell the franchise because it's worth a fortune and doesn't mean nearly as much to them as it does to Bud.
So, who did the well-informed McClain think will buy it? This guy, James Haslam Jr. It was this savvy answer that piqued my interest because it almost makes too much sense. The Haslams are a formidable force in Tennessee, especially in the East Tennessee political machine. James' son Bob Bill is the mayor of Knoxville and an early favorite to run for governor once term-limited Phil Bredesen is gone. The family already owns a minority share of the Pittsburgh Steelers, so they're basically pre-approved for franchise ownership by the other NFL owners.
James Haslam Jr. also made a very public push to get an NFL team to Nashville before the Oilers and Adams ever entered the picture. He's got a national championship ring he earned 1951 with the Vols under legendary coach Robert Neyland, so we wouldn't have to question whether or not he's a football guy.
Of course this is all pretty much idle speculation, but I wanted to pass along this interesting idea to Titans fans everywhere as it's a question that will come up at some point.